Cameroon: Post-election crackdown escalates with arrest of opposition leader Maurice Kamto
Following the arbitrary arrest of Cameroon’s main opposition leader Maurice Kamto, Samira Daoud, Amnesty International’s West and Central Africa Deputy Director said:
“The arrest of Maurice Kamto and four of his staff supporters signals an escalating crackdown on opposition leaders, human rights defenders and activists in Cameroon. The authorities must immediately and unconditionally release them, as well as peaceful protesters detained at the weekend simply for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
The arrest of Maurice Kamto and four of his staff supporters signals an escalating crackdown on opposition leaders, human rights defenders and activists in Cameroon.
“Instead of taking steps towards improving the country’s human rights record, we are witnessing the authorities becoming less and less tolerant of criticism. This must stop.
“The authorities should now allow people to enjoy their human rights including by ending the crackdown on peaceful demonstrations and dissenting voices.”
Yesterday, opposition party leader Maurice Kamto, president of Movement for the Renaissance of Cameroon (MRC), who according to the electoral commission came second in the October 2018 presidential election was arrested in the capital Douala along with two of his supporters Albert Dzongang and Christian Penda Ekoka. They were brought to the Yaoundé ‘’Police Judiciaire’’ and were not allowed to meet their lawyers.
In parallel, two other members of the MRC were arrested. They are Alain Fogue, treasurer of the party and Célestin Djamen who was taken by the police from Douala general hospital where he was undertaking medical care after being wounded by bullet during the weekend protest.
Last weekend the MRC called for public protests or “marches blanches” across the country to protest against alleged mass irregularities in the electoral process.
More than hundred protesters were arrested in Douala, Yaoundé, Dschang, Bafoussam and Bafang. Around 50 were released on Sunday and the remaining have been placed under administrative custody.